Deadly police shootings go unpunished: Mehmet Tursun

Deadly police shootings go unpunished: Mehmet Tursun
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In a single month, the police have shot five people in Istanbul, killing three and severely injuring one.

Mehmet Tursun, the father of Baran Tursun who was fatally shot by the police on 24 November 2007, told +Gercek's Yagmur Kaya that deadly use of firearms by the police has come to be perceived as ordinary incidents in Turkey, as hundreds of people have been killed by state forces within the last 10 years and while the perpetrators are protected by a policy of impunity.

Five people have been shot by the police in the last 30 days in Istanbul, and three died, while one was severely injured.

"Not complying with the police's order to stop is punishable by a fine," Tursun said. "However, the police generally kill those who do not comply with an order."

Commenting on the recent killing of a young woman by the police on 12 December, lawyer Umit Erdem criticized officials who stated that she was "accidentally" shot, saying:

"If a person who did not have firearm training was concerned, it might have been claimed that it was 'accidental,' but the police are trained on that. They get training on how to use a firearm, when to use it, and about the possible consequences. So the incident cannot be classified as accidental. The police have to foresee in cases when they use a firearm in the public that bystanders might be hit. It is not fair to talk about an accident in such cases."

According to a report by the Baran Tursun Foundation, 430 people were killed by state forces in 10 years, most of them in Turkey's Kurdish-majority provinces, and in 118 cases the victims were fatally shot because they allegedly did not comply with an order to stop.

According to a report by the Diyarbakir branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD), 64 children were killed by state forces in the same period of time.